If you could see the future of your youth ministry would you want to see it? I personally think it would be scarey so i would not want to know. The good news is you don’t need a crystal ball to see your youth ministries future. Scripture give us great and precious promises to see what God can do and will do but, as with all promises, it is dependent on our obedience. Many times Jesus said, “if you…then I” (John 11:40). In the Old Testament verses such as II Chronicles 7:14 begins with “If my people, ..”
Scripture alone can tell us the direction we are heading in life but the life of of our youth youth ministry may still seem a bit fuzzy. Let me offer five things you are probably doing right now that may indicate the future of your youth ministry. Let me begin this series with
Your approach to solving problems
We all have to solve a problem at some point in ministry and most of the time it is a challenge. I used to be a head on kind f guy, if there was a problem on my team or in my youth ministry I tacked it head on because I though it was the best way to deal with it. The two extremes of problem solving are “head on” or the “in your face” method and the “I’ll ignore it and hope ti will go away” method. Both methods put our youth ministry’s future at risk.
The head on method may be be fast but may lead to
- People thinking we’re to abrasive or
- People thinking we don’t care about the big picture
There is nothing wrong with dealing with a situation directly but the attitude with which we do it matters greatly.
The ” I hope it goes away” approach leads to
- People thinking we do not care about the issue
- People thinking we are disengaged
Bother approaches could spell trouble for your youth ministry .
Fortunately, age, wisdom, and failure have cured me of the “head on way” of dealing with issues as the only way to deal with them. My current Pastor never seems to worry about anything. He ends most conversations with “Nevertheless!” I have learned to
- Let some issues had themselves – Somethings actually take care of themselves. My involvement could muddy the waters or could make the problem worse. I have learned to shut up and stay out of certain situations.
- Let someone else handle the issue – I always heard to put someone between you and your problems. That’s why Lead pastors have associates. if the Lead Pastor has to deal with every single problem he won’t be Lead Pastor for long. If I do not think I am the best person to hand the situation I let other handle it because they have more information or have a different kind of relationship with the people who are having (or who are) the problem. if we are the only one charging the hill on every battle we won’t last long.
- Let myself handle the issue with more grace and humility – I had a talk with my Pastor about an issue I am dealing with right now and he reminded me, what I have known for years, just to put myself in a place humility to those who are having a problem. Some phrases that I have used in the past are “Is everything o.k. between us?” and “I am sensing you are feeling disconnected, is there a reason for that?” These statements apply to my particular issue but the point is that, if want to get to the truth, we have to put ourselves out there and risk being hurt or wounded.
The way and the speed witch which we deal with the problems of youth ministry will tell us whether our youth ministry will trust and respect us for dealing with issues quickly and fairly or will distrust us because we do not. Trust give us permission so to lead. Distrust keeps us from moving our group forward.
Some quotes for you to think about
“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”
― Albert Einstein
If you choose to not deal with an issue, then you give up your right of control over the issue
and it will select the path of least resistance.”
― Susan Del Gatto
A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. – Proverbs 17:27
What is your style of problem solving? Do you tend to ignore? Go head on?
What are some of your best opening phrases to getting people to opening up about what is really going on?